Every fanbase has their group of folks that passionately supports their team. These are the folks that come to mind when you mention a team’s name. Cameron has the Crazies, Oakland has Raider Nation, and Ohio State has Big Nut.
Here in Nebraska we have a group that tries to create balance in between two teams. They are called Jayskers. These folks bounce between the University of Nebraska and Creighton University. To many, these people may seem disloyal or confused. In fact, many of you out there might have friends that are Jayskers. But in all honesty, do we really know what a Jaysker is?
To fully understand and know this type of fan, we at Corn Nation reached out to one of the most prominent Jayskers out there, Ol Creigh J. Aysker.
Ol Creigh has been around quite a while, and has been showing up on Twitter since the spring of 2014. During that time, he has interacted with many Huskers, Bluejays, and Jayskers. If anyone could answer our question it would be him. I sat down with Ol Creigh over some cocktails one night to get to know him and his subset a little better.
(setting is the Green Onion off Dodge Street in Omaha. Our waitress has just brought us our cocktails. Ol Creigh is drinking a glass of wine and eating a bowl of cheesecrumbles, and I had my usual scotch on the rocks. The mood is mellow with smooth jazz in the background)
Patrick : Creigh, what is a Jaysker? Is it a derogatory term like so many think it is or a badge of honor.
Ol Creigh: Hello, Patrick. You are welcome to go ahead and call me “Ol Creigh” if you like. I like that because it’s as though I’m everyone’s friend. Like “Hey Ol Creigh, good to see you.” That also really sounds great in the Hallways.
So, to begin. It seems to me a Jaysker is one who likes Nebraska football (when winning), likes Creighton basketball (when winning), and when Nebraska basketball is winning, a Jaysker likes to say they "want both teams to win", but when pressed for further clarification, will often note, "except one game each year". - where they will boo the Huskers with similar venom to an Iowa St fan booing any call against them on Big Monday.
As you asked, I think to be called a "Jaysker" is a badge of honor for Jayskers right now. It's Happy Time, as the Jays are 8-0 and certainly rolling along, playing well, and ranked very highly. Jayskers are also able to celebrate a Music City Bowl Bid. However one could think that last year, it was possibly an insult. Many Jayskers wondered, at 5-7, if they'd be represented at all in the CFB bowl games - so yes, I'd say at that time it was an insult. Their relationship status always states: "it's complicated".
I always tell my kids, Ndamukong and Doug, that it’s more important that you have fun and laugh and visit with people while you are at the game, rather than who wins. But, if your team does win, it’s fun to go to work the next day and tell folks about being there.
Patrick: Okay, so being a Jaysker can be a complicated matter at times. It seems that many that are not Jayskers are confused by those who are. How should straight up Husker fans and Creighton fans treat Jayskers? Also, what is it like going to Creighton games as a Jaysker? How are you treated by Jay fans?
Ol Creigh: Jayskers do sometimes get odd looks - like one who just put ketchup on one's cheesecrumbles (nobody should ruin cheesecrumbles with ketchup!). Some of the new Jayskers wear their 1997 Husker National Championship Sweatshirts to the CLink. As a side, sweatshirts actually do not actually pass the dress code, but we often let them slide. As for me - Ol Creigh is just a big fan of fun. Where's the next event/celebration? You know I’ll be there.
I'm treated well by Jay fans. It helps that I have great hair and dress like a Joseph A Banks model- so I'm welcomed into the Lexus Club with a warm handshake, check my coat at Jaybacker Coat Check, etc.. I get to see so many of the same friends that I see in the Husker club seats at Memorial Stadium and the Champions Club for tailgating. Because of these many friends, like many Jayskers and others at CLink (note this is the same sound of celebratory wine glass toasts) you'll find me in the Hallway organizing fun, visiting with attendees and participating in many of the fun Hallway activities while the game is going on.
Who doesn't like Hallway Frisbee Golf, which really took off a couple years ago when the Jays started 0-10 in conference play. For those who have not attended the CLink, there is also the smooth jazz gent who plays wonderful song sets for folks to tap their toes to while enjoying a little cup of wine and some delicious cheesecrumbles.
So, to answer your question, for some, going to a Jays game is like a cross between a cocktail party and Dave & Busters, but with delightful smooth jazz playing in the background.
Patrick: You've made mention of smooth jazz in your tweets so I assume you are quite the connoisseur. I also note the DMX references on occasion. These seem to be soundtracks to being a Jaysker. How about you enlighten our readers with your top five favorite smooth jazz albums and your top five DMX albums.
Ol Creigh: I'm fairly certain that the smoothjazz songs don't actually have titles. The guy just plays songs in the CLink Hallway. For all I know, he may just make them up as he goes. He's really good. "Smoothjazz Song Titles" would be an excellent category on Jeopardy - nobody would get any right.
As for DMX, that is solely saved for Pinnacle Bank Arena - and for when I am picking out socks in my closet each morning. At PBA, we get hit with some X "Up in Here" only during special occasions. Like after a big dunk, forcing a timeout - or perhaps a three pointer from the left wing - or any wing would be acceptable. I can't name you five songs from our friend DMX, but that's not important. What is important, however, is what that song leads into at PBA.
(pulls out two old smooth jazz cd's. Yep, no titles)
Patrick: You mention that DMX leads into something at PBA. Tell us about that.
Ol Creigh: I have to say, Patrick - that’s the best part. Once DMX kicks in, it’s time for Sweatercopters. Or as they are sometimes called: “DMXSweatercopters” (if you aren’t trying to save twitter characters). After, say, an Ed Morrow dunk or a Tai Webster steal & layup, you whip off your sweater and run around, coptering it above your head. It can work with Sandstorm also. Just not as well. That can actually cause you to get dizzy and sick.
Patrick: Was there a defining moment that made you a Jaysker? Also, how should parents react and treat children that become Jayskers? Asking for a friend...
Ol Creigh: Well, always you should treat children nicely. But if the child starts on a healthy diet of bowls of cheesecrumbles and grape juice, you more than likely have a Jaysker on your hands.
As for Ol Creigh becoming a Jaysker, well I always got lost at the Civic Auditorium and twice ended up in the trade show basement when I thought I was headed to the VIP Lounge. When the CLink opened up, there were margarita machines in the hallway, doormen, coat checks, photo booths, clowns making balloon animals - just fun things to do at every turn. It was like a clean carnival.
Patrick: What is the difference between Jayskers and Creighton only fans from you perspective?
Ol Creigh: Creighton only fans are just that. Creighton fans. Good on them - they do a great job supporting their team. In addition, their sweaters are snazzy, and moreover the slacks they wear cost about the same as a case of wine. I digress.
Jayskers. Well, Jayskers pretend to like the University of Nebraska for 4 months then all of a sudden dislike the University of Nebraska for 4 months then immediately get pumped for spring football. I get it, Creighton doesn't have a football team. It's OK to like Creighton basketball and Nebraska football. Just don't pretend to hate Nebraska basketball from November through March. Uh, I mean...at least that what some may say.
Patrick: Can there be harmony between Huskers, Bluejays, and Jayskers? Also, what are your thoughts on this years Presidential Election?
Ol Creigh: Well, I'm not touching anything political, but as for harmony between the BlueJay, Husker, and Jaysker parties, that will happen again on December 30 for the Music City Bowl excitement.
Patrick: Q: Okay, what will happen Wednesday night against the two squads? What’s your thought on the final score?
Ol Creigh: Alright, my predictions for Wednesday night will be as follows:
Ol Creigh and friends will have a cocktail or two or possibly more than two, in the Haymarket prior to the game. I will wave and point at friends some, stopping at times to visit, laugh, etc. I'll check on folks in the Hallways to make sure they are all having a good time . Folks in blue will have Frisbee golf available, along with the rented Margarita Machines, and shoeshine stations. I'll let you in on a little secret - the smoothjazz guy will be tapping toes up on the 3rd floor concourse during the 1st half for Jays fans. More on that via twitter.
As for the game, I have a feeling there will be first half #DMXSweatercopters, followed by some in the second half as well. Huskers 77-74 over Jays and Jayskers.
At this point it was well past my bedtime and I needed to make the two hour trek back home. Ol Creigh was gracious the entire night and a delight to converse with. I look forward to my next encounter whether it’s in one of the boxes at a Husker football game or the Lexus Lounge at CLink.
I wish Ol Creigh the best and hope we both enjoy the outcome on Wednesday. You can follow him on twitter at @CreighJAysker